Katherine Keenum


A blog about how paintings, photographs, and prints have helped me visualize my fiction—both Where the Light Falls and works-in-progress—with a hope that they will stimulate other writers and readers, too.

A small sample of the images that inspired me appears below. Click on these or any images in the posts to see enlargements. In the text, click on colored words to activate links.
















Selected Works

Fiction
An American woman art student meets a Civil War veteran in Belle Époque Paris.

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Picturing a World

Ladies painting a bull

April 8, 2018

Tags: art colony, fashion or clothes, plein air, schools, women artists

Blog post alert: James Gurney’s post on Von Hayek’s Animal-Painting Academy is the source of this photo of women artists en plein air. Besides the art-historical angle (and the clothes), I love the farmers in the distance watching. What story do you suppose they might tell?!

Rembrandt en plein air

March 1, 2017

Tags: plein air

This etching on paper is the earliest image of an artist at work outdoors that I’ve ever run across. Jeanette and her friends in Where the Light Falls would have loved it!

Even though etching is a painstaking technique, Rembrandt has retained the informality and liveliness of a sketch for this (more…)

Fanny Brate—Another one lost to marriage

February 8, 2017

Tags: plein air, Scandinavian artists, schools, women artists

In Where the Light Falls, Amy points out bitterly to Jeanette that marriage means the end of a woman’s career in art. So it was for Fanny Brate (1861–1940), a Swedish painter who entered the Royal Swedish Academy of Art in 1880 and (more…)

Painting a bug

June 5, 2013

Tags: Jeanette, Amy, plein air

BLOG TIP: In Pont Aven, Jeanette draws a cartoon of Amy's reaction to a bug on her canvas. For a video glimpse of James Gurney painting a seventeen-year cicada outdoors using some specially designed homemade artist's equipment, click here.